Probate is primarily a process through which title is transferred from the name of the deceased to the names of the beneficiaries.
Certain types of assets are what is called “non-probate assets” do not typically go through probate. These include:
- Property in which you own title as “joint tenants with right of survivorship”. Such property passes to the co-owners by operation of law and do not go through probate.
- Retirement accounts such as IRA and 401(k) accounts where there are designated beneficiaries.
- Life insurance policies.
- Bank accounts with “pay on death” (POD) designations or “in trust for” designations.